You spend lots of time and energy to get a customer and gain a sale. The last thing you want to do is upset the customer with a lackluster delivery service. In fact, delivery is one of the most important parts of the customer experience. That’s why you have to invest as much as you can to ensure a great delivery service. Look at Amazon for instance; do they solely rely on the Post Office, FedEx, or UPS? No. The trillion-dollar company has hundreds of thousands of their own trucks and their own delivery people get the package to the customer’s front door. No other company has that level of commitment to customer delivery. If you want to create the ultimate customer delivery experience, then start with these five proven steps.
1. Have 24-hour customer response
When someone orders from you, they are trusting you. These people paid money for a product that they do not yet have in their possession. Therefore, you want to put that person at ease as much as possible. One of the best ways to keep a customer happy after they pay and before they receive their package is to have 24-hour live customer service.
How do you execute this customer service? At the very least, you should have someone available to answer e-mails within 2-hours. That means having a 24-hour staff of customer service representatives (CSR) on your team. You can easily outsource this CSR work around the world at a cheap price. However, if you really want to stay competitive with the big guys, you should have live 24-hour customer service. You should have CSR specialists available to message chat 24 hours a day and have round the clock CSRs on the phone. By allowing customers to talk or communicate with a live person, at any time, you are showing that you are serious about customer service.
2. Automate as much as possible
As your business grows, you will want to automate your deliveries as much as possible. That means you will want to automate the fulfillment process so you don’t have to manually enter orders or deal with shipments yourself. Use a third-party fulfillment warehouse that has a great track record. Also, offer an automated delivery tracking system or at least send e-mail follow-ups that include order confirmation, tracking number, delivery confirmation, and a follow-up survey on customer satisfaction. Automating as much as you can allow your business to grow without hiccups in quality.
3. Give customers more delivery options
You want to give your customers as much control as possible. One of the ways to keep customers happy is to give them the option to have their deliveries sent to a parcel locker. These lockers are designed to store your customer’s packages safely in a public location. The customer uses a code sent via e-mail to access their package. Amazon has its own lockers around the world. You can easily have these lockers installed to better serve your customers.
4. Prepare for busy seasons
Chances are that most of your business is done during certain times of the year. For instance, many businesses get a large chunk of their revenue between Black Friday and Christmas. If you have a busy time of the season, you will want to prepare well in advance to make sure there is no disruption when demand surges.
You can prepare for the busy season by checking with your fulfillment partner to make sure that they can handle the capacity. Also, have backups plans in case one or more delivery services are not available. Finally, staff up your customer service rep team to make sure they can handle the extra e-mails and calls that will come in.
5. Follow up with customers
Finally, you want to make sure that your customers are happy. Therefore, you will want to send follow-up e-mails to gauge their satisfaction level. If your customers are unhappy, then offer a coupon or some other compensation so your customers will order from you again. Following up will keep you engaged with your customers and help you gauge your real-time delivery performance.
Delivering to your customers like a pro
You can improve your customer delivery by having 24-hour customer service, automating your systems, adding delivery options, preparing for peak delivery season, and following up on every order. By continually improving your delivery performance, you will be better prepared to scale up your business.